We will see how to make olive oil at home, but not just any oil, but an EVOO of the highest quality, capable of competing with the best olive oils in the world.In addition, we will indicate the steps we have taken to make homemade cold-pressed olive oil and the approximate yield that we can obtain from our Finally we will evaluate the cost and profitability of producing olive oil in this way, and we will indicate different possible alternatives according to our possibilities.
Manufacturing of olive oil
To produce olive oil at home we must know and emulate on a small scale the steps that are carried out for the manufacture of olive oil in an industrial mill.
- Removal of leaves and cleaning of olives.
- Olives grinding
- Beating the oily wort
- Extraction of oil and water from vegetation by pressing/centrifugation.
- Decanting for separate olive oil from water.
It is important to bear in mind that the less time elapses from the collection to the extraction of the olive oil from the olives, the higher quality the oil will have. For this reason, it is good to plan to complete the olive oil production process quickly.
Machines to make olive oil at home
To make olive oil at home we can use different machines, tools and tools of different sizes.
Among the utensils and machines that we have used to make olive oil at home we have:
- Mill/crusher: In my case I have an old hand mill that my great-grandparents used to make flour and it works perfectly. The design is very similar to this cereal mill that we can find it available on Amazon.Although you can also use another class of more powerful machines or in case of removing the bones blenders, blenders could be worth it.
- Buckets or basins to store the olives and the oily must.
- A spatula/stick to emulate the whipping process.
- A resistant cotton T-shirt that serves as a sack to press the oily must.
- A funnel and plastic bottles (water to avoid contaminating odors and as smooth as possible) that we will use to decant.
- A syringe to extract the decanted oil.
- Others: In my case I used a rubber to avoid staining, as well as a wooden board and hammer to break the olives and grind them faster.
In the market we can find electric grinders for 100-200 euros as well as presses and other tools ( decanters, blenders, leaf cleaners, >capachos, espartines…) to set up a mini oil mill.
We can also find different tutorials to make a mill to crush homemade olives.
Choice of olives
If we want to produce olive oil of the highest quality at home, we must first carry out the collecting the olives soon, preferably October-November It is also important that the olives are free of pests such as the fly olive tree, fungi and diseases.
Regarding the state of ripeness of the olives, when using green olives we will obtain significantly more fruity aromas.
In our case, most of the olives used were green or in the veraison phase, with a few ripe ones.
The variety used is also important, the higher yield the olives have, the more olive oil we can get for the same effort.
In our case, however, we tried to make a blend simulating the proportion of the most cultivated varieties in the area, in this case Manzanilla Cacereña (low yield) and Verdial de Badajoz (High yield) Both mixed-use varieties (table/oil mill) produce olive oils of fabulous quality.
Although we have not carried out an analysis, the yield of the olives harvested on October 16, will be around only 10-13% of the 15-18% that it usually reaches finally in the mill.
It is essential to obtain a good quality olive oil to collect the olives immediately before processing, as well as to avoid damaging them during harvesting.
Process to make homemade olive oil
Once we have the tools and we have collected the best possible olives, we proceed to carry out the steps to make homemade olive oil cold-pressed.
This initial step for the extraction of olive oil, we can do it in various ways and with different machinery. The way that requires fewer tools is to remove the stone from the olives (with a knife or stoner) and proceed to crush it in a mixer/blender. However, this process can be very slow if we are going to process several kilos of olives.
In our case we have collected about 5 kg of olives to make extra virgin olive oil at home. For the grinding process, we have used an old grain mill. Due to its characteristics, this mill had difficulties to be fed by the endless screw, since the largest olives had to be pressed for them to pass. Therefore, with the intention of facilitating the work with the hand mill, what I did was mash the olives before passing them.
To grind everything well, I passed the olives through the mill up to 4 times, although 2-3 times would surely have been enough to extract the oil.
Olive dough shake
The beating of the olive mass or oily must, also known as kneading, is important to break the emulsion of water and oil that It is produced during the olive milling. During this process, the olive oil droplets will gather into visible droplets that we can easily extract from the pulp. It is important that in case of using machinery the mass of olives is moved slowly.
To increase yield, in oil mills it is common for the oily must to be heated during the beating process. However, in our case we are not looking for high yield but to produce olive oil of the best possible quality, so we decided not to apply heat.
We have simulated the shake process by stirring in a basin for about 30 minutes manually. Once we see that puddles of olive oil form on the walls of the basin, we will have the oily must ready for the mixing process.
Although centrifugation is currently the most widely used technique to produce olive oil in mills, olive pressing is the easiest to simulate to produce olive oil at home or in mini-mills.
To press the olives it will not be necessary to have a press, this process is easy to simulate by squeezing a cloth bag.
In our case we have made the bag with a short-sleeved cotton shirt and a rope.
To do this, what we do is tie knots in the sleeves and tie the neck of the shirt with the rope. Subsequently, we fill the shirt with the olive mass and tie the open end.
Finally we are pressing the bag against a clean basin so that the olive oil comes out together with the water from the vegetation.
Once the olive oil has been extracted from the first pressing, we can increase the yield by performing a second pressing. To do this, we hydrate slightly and beat the olive paste again.
Although we will not get the result of a press to make olive oil. With some patience we will be able to extract a large part of the olive oil.
Decantation of olive oil
For the decantation of olive oil we will let the pressing liquid pass for a few hours. Although we will be able to taste our olive oil right away the decanting process takes several hours to complete, so we can gradually extract the oil little by little.
In our case, to prevent the oil from becoming cloudy during the extraction. We have used a syringe to extract it little by little.
How did the olive oil turn out?
Although the images speak for themselves, we have managed to produce an exquisite olive oil, green in colour, very fruity aroma of tomato and fresh herbs, medium intensity bitterness with a sweet and slightly spicy touch. What has been an extra early harvest Manzanilla Cacereña olive oil (very fruity) with a flavor enhanced by the presence of Verdial from Badajoz.
It is important to indicate that I did this test a few years ago at the end of December and the result was a very different olive oil. On that occasion I followed a process similar to the one indicated, although heating the oily must in a pan and achieving a higher yield.
Heating the oily must will make us lose fruity aromas and reduce quality. To make cold-pressed homemade olive oil, we must control that the temperature does not exceed 27ºC.
On the other hand, although the olives used were healthy and still somewhat green. I think harvesting them in December had a negative influence on this process and the quality was not as desired.
For this reason, we recommend that if you want to produce olive oil at home. You harvest it early to obtain the best possible quality.
How much homemade olive oil have we produced?
Home-produced olive oil is around 350-400 ml, it is a significant amount for the date and technique used (7-%), although a very small amount in exchange for the hours of effort invested. In our case, the yield of the varieties used is low, so it is possible that if you use other olive varieties such as Picual you can easily extract 700-800 ml.
Is it profitable to make olive oil at home?
In our case we will try to assess the cost of making olive oil at home. On the one hand, we have the time invested which we estimate to be about 5 hours, which we value for a meager 6 euros an hour, and the materials and olives used for only 5 euros. In total there are 35 euros to produce 0.4 liters of extra virgin olive oil, so we are going to a production cost of olive oil of 80 euros per liter.
Is it worth it? Although it is expensive and laborious to produce olive oil at home, I personally think so. Certainly, it is quite gratifying to produce your own olive oil, even more so if you manage to produce an oil that you can boast of in terms of quality. It may not be the best oil in the world, but it will surely come to seem to you.
If you have come this far, surely you have found our publication useful for making a delicious homemade olive oil.
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We have translated the information on our website from Spanish to English. Please note that some words may have had their meaning altered during translation.